Morning is the most productive time of the day for me;
I can get more done between 5am-7am than I can the rest of the day. Mornings have become a keystone habit in my life that have led to other positive habits.
12 Benefits of Waking Up Earlier
Sure, I didn’t want to get out of bed at 5am for the first few weeks, but now, I would never go back. So let’s talk about the benefits of waking up earlier, and then I’ll tell you how I became a morning person and how you can to.
Here are 12 benefits of waking up earlier:
1. You’ll Have More Time
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” -Richard Whately
I’m not sure what it is about the morning hours, but they’re more productive.
When you start waking up earlier, you’ll realize that there are magical hours there and you’ve been missing out on them.
Use that time wisely, and see what you can accomplish in just one month – seriously, try it for 30 days. I know for me, I was always feeling overwhelmed and overloaded, but once I started waking up two hours earlier, it actually felt like I had two hours added to my day, and we could all use an extra two hours.
Stop missing out on that precious time.
2. You’ll Have Peace and Quiet
If you have kids, then you’re really going to understand this one well.
There’s a good chance that nobody else in your home wakes up at 5am (or whatever is early for you), unless you have a newborn. That means those hours are all yours.
You just realized you basically get extra time added to your day when you wake up early, and now you see that it’s all yours… Are you sold yet?
3. You’ll Be Happier
If you’re not used to getting up early, you may not feel happier on that first morning, but things will change.
One study shows that morning people are actually happier than evening people.
It goes beyond just basic happiness. The study goes into detail and shows that your overall chances for depression are lower as a morning person.
4. You’ll Control Your Day
Have you ever felt like you were constantly rushing to get things done all day? Like you weren’t running your own life? Yes, yes you have. Because we’ve all had those days.
The alarm goes off, we hit snooze 15 or 20 times too many, and then it’s straight into: shower, get dressed, grab a quick cup of coffee, and rush out the door.
When you start waking up earlier, you’ll find that you don’t have to rush anywhere. Your life is on your time. It’s a soothing feeling.
5. You’ll Be Smarter
A 2008 Texas University study revealed that morning people had better grades than night owls.
It wasn’t by a small margin either. The morning student averaged a 3.5, while the students who preferred nights averaged a 2.5.
That’s a huge difference. This isn’t always the case, and grades aren’t everything, but that study is eye opening.
6. You’ll Be in Better Shape
The most important thing is to manage your energy levels. If you exercise in the morning, you’ll have more energy the rest of the day.
You’re more likely to work out in the morning and stick to your routine. That makes complete sense, when you think about how full your afternoons can get. It’s easy to just go home, but if you get it out of the way in the morning, you won’t have to worry about it.
Morning workouts are a great way to give your body an extra boost, but it’s not just about the boost, you’ll actually sleep better by working out each morning.
7. You’ll Sleep Better
An Appalachian State University study found that early risers have lower blood pressure, which leads to better sleep. Here’s Dr. Collier’s words:
“Much to our surprise, 7 a.m. exercise was better in terms of reduced blood pressure throughout the day and greater sleep benefits than exercise at 7 p.m., and there was little blood pressure or sleep benefit when exercise was done at 1 p.m.”
Not only are mornings a convenient time to work out, but mornings are proving to be the most effective time to work out.
8. You’ll Be More Disciplined
Waking up early isn’t easy at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll be popping out of bed eagerly.
Waking up early is also a habit. A great habit, and a great way to start your day.
Starting your day with the discipline of getting up early will lead into other disciplines. Since discipline begets discipline, you’ll become more disciplined overall. Again, waking up early makes a great keystone habit.
9. You’ll Get to See the Sunrise
There is nothing more peaceful and relaxing than watching the sunrise on a morning walk.
I think this is a gift to all the morning people out there. A beautiful sunrise will make you smile, and smiling is good for your health.
Talk about starting the day on a positive note.
10. You’ll Get a Good Breakfast
If you’re a breakfast-lover, you know how annoying it is to be rushed out of the house with only enough time to grab a bagel.
The morning hours give you plenty of time to have whatever you want for breakfast. Whether you prefer a gourmet multi-course meal or just a nice cup of coffee, you’ll get to sit and enjoy it.
You’ll also have time to prepare a greens smoothie for even more energy.
11. You’ll Be More Successful
Most entrepreneurs are early risers. It seems to be a common trend among most successful people. Just listen to what Ernest Hemingway says about mornings:
“When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write… You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and you know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”
You’ll join an elite club of early risers. It just takes starting this one habit to have an effect on every area of your life.
The mornings give you time to work on a side hustle, or time to simply plan out your day and your life. How could you not be more successful with all that time?
12. You’ll Be More Productive
This kind of sums up the rest of the points, but it needs to be said.
If you want to be more productive, wake up earlier. You’ll add hours to your day, and improve your life in all these other areas.
There’s no reason to keep hitting snooze when all of this productive time is waiting on you. Get out of bed and get things done.
How to Actually Wake Up Early: A Brief Guide
You know the “why,” and you’re ready to do this.
You’re committed, but how do you actually start implementing this habit?
Here are 8 ways to become a morning person:
1. Start slowly. Like anything else, if you start this in full force tomorrow by waking up five hours earlier than you usually do, you’re going to fail. Start by waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal. Then wake up 15 minutes earlier than that every few days. Slowly adopt this new habit.
2. Use natural light. Since you’re reading this, you probably prefer waking up before the natural light of the sun is shining through your window, but you can find a natural light alarm clock that will do the trick. Natural light helps your body to naturally feel awake.
3. Have a reward. Think of something you would really look forward to. It could be a steaming cup of coffee or tea or an early morning walk. Find something that motivates you and use that motivation to pop out of bed.
4. Exercise. You don’t have to run a marathon, but get your blood pumping as soon as you can. A quick walk or a few jumping jacks will do the trick. Just do something that reminds your body that you’re not still sleeping.
5. Keep a routine. Go to sleep and wake up close to the same time each day, and you’ll condition your body to naturally be tired and wake up at those times. If this doesn’t fit with work hours, try to stay on a schedule as much as possible.
6. Change your mindset. If you dread mornings, change your mindset. Start looking forward to them and all the productivity they bring. I know it’s possible to shift your mindset, because I am a self-made morning person.
7. Find your passion. The morning time is the best time to work on whatever you’re passionate about. As humans, we are most disciplined in the things we are most passionate about. Start your day with something you’re passionate about and you’ll be much more likely to get up and get to it.
8. Use sleep cycles to your advantage. One sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, so plan your sleep in multiples of 90. For most adults, 7.5 or 9 hours is a good goal to strive for. Worst case scenario, sleep for at least 6 hours. If you wake up just before your alarm, go ahead and get up; your sleep cycle is over. You can always try the Sleep Cycle alarm clock. It monitors your heart rate and attempts to wake you up once your sleep cycle is over.
I hope you’re excited about starting a morning ritual. I started my morning ritual a few years ago, and I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible in the last two years, and it all started with waking up early.
Let me put it this way: I work a full-time job, write for several websites and publish 3-5 articles a week at my own blog, attend college as a full-time student, and the icing on the cake? My wife and I have four kids.
I’m not bragging, I’m saying this is all possible because of my mornings. Seriously.
Of course, I know there will be the naysayers, namely, the night owls. And I get it. Honestly, some people do function better at night, and there are plenty of reasons to be a night owl. In fact, while it does seem like most of the people in the history books preferred mornings, there are even some arguments amongst them:
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” -Benjamin Franklin
“Put no trust in the benefits to accrue from early rising, as set forth by the infatuated Franklin …” – Mark Twain
It’s a personal choice, but make sure you’re honest with yourself. Do you really “function better at night,” or do you just not want to wake up?
Try it for at least 30 days before disregarding the idea of waking up early.